Book Review: Cold Breath by Quentin Bates

Cold Breath Welcome today to Quentin Bates and the blog tour for Cold Breath released this month from Constable. 

Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head . . .

Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavík, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together – too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man’s past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience – or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be.

Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavík to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.

Cold Breath is the latest novel to feature Icelandic detective, Gunnhildur or Gunna as she is called for most of the novel.

She has been assigned a protection detail for a top-secret guest of a government minister. She is not sure about the man she has been asked to protect; whether he is who he says he is or is involved with illegal activities.

This book was my introduction to Gunna and I have to say, it wasn’t long until I couldn’t put this book down. It had mystery running right the way through it and I very much enjoyed trying to solve the puzzle along with Gunna. She is a strong female character.

The plot throughout was very nicely administered. It wasn’t given away too quickly and it was hard to work out how all the pieces fitted together – this was why I kept saying ‘one more page’ when I should have been asleep.

The setting that is used in this book sounds stunning and I could really picture myself within it. Gunna feels like she is out in the middle of nowhere and the description of the house and its surroundings really helped to sell this point. Also, like Gunna, I didn’t fully trust a lot of people in this book.

Told in the third person, it’s written from the point of view of Gunna and her team, a tourist couple, Carsten and Hanna, a journalist named Skúli and a mysterious character named Ana. The impression you get of her isn’t good.

Granted, there is a lot going on in this book from the beginning so I found I did have to concentrate on the plot – not to the point where I had to double back on myself to keep up but close.

Cold Breath - Quentin Bates - Blog Tour (1)-page-001

Having said that though, I had to stop myself reading too quickly as I pretty much wanted to devour it. In my humble opinion, this book is SO good.

If you like books that involve police cases and mystery, this book is definitely one I would recommend for your list. I loved it (incase you hadn’t already guessed.)

Cold Breath was released by Constable in October 2018 and is available in paperback from most UK book shops and on eBook. Click to view on Amazon UK. 


quentin batesAbout Quentin Bates:

Brought up in the south of England, Quentin Bates took up the offer of a gap year working in Iceland in 1979, and found himself spending a gap decade there.

During the 1980s he acquired a family, a new language and a new profession, before returning to the UK in 1990.

Since then he has been, among other things, a full-time marine journalist.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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